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Microsoft Releases Windows XP Service Pack 1

By: Arie Slob

Windows XP Windows XP SP1 includes all of the security patches currently available via Windows Update. It also contains all updates resulting from the Windows code review conducted earlier this year as part of the Trustworthy Computing initiative.

Microsoft recently released Windows XP SP1a. The only difference is that this Service Pack does no longer include Microsoft's dated Java version. If you have already installed Windows XP SP1, there is no reason to install SP1a, but the "older" SP1 (with MS Java) is no longer available for download.

You can find the Release Notes for Windows XP SP1 on the Microsoft Knowledge Base. This article also contains links to a Categorized List of Fixes in Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1). The ReadMe and FAQ are also useful documents to check before you install SP1.

In addition to the traditional service pack updates, Windows XP SP1 delivers the required changes of the proposed consent decree signed with the U.S. Department of Justice and nine state attorneys general. The changes allow both computer manufacturers and users to remove end-user access to Microsoft® Internet Explorer browser software, Windows Media™ Player, Windows Messenger, Outlook® Express and Microsoft's Java virtual machine. This is just one of many components of the compliance effort undertaken by Microsoft since the consent decree was signed in November 2001.

There are two ways to get Windows XP SP1. You can download it directly from Microsoft, or you can order the Windows XP SP1 CD (USA/CAN only). International customers can obtain the CD through their local Microsoft subsidiary .

SP1 is available as an Express or Network Installation. The Express installation detects your system components and installs only those updates that are necessary for your computer. As a result, the number of files installed and the time required may be less for computers that already have Windows XP hotfixes installed. This method is recommended for customers who want to reduce their download time. This is for single computer installation only. If you want to install on more than one machine, choose the Network Installation.

According to Microsoft, using the Express Installation on a typical Windows XP machine will be around 30 MB. The full SP1 Network Installation is 133.94 MB (or 199.56 MB for the 64-bit version). The Network installation includes all of the Windows XP SP1 files needed for installation on Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional or Windows XP 64-Bit Edition. This is an ideal download mechanism for IT professionals who require a downloadable copy of SP1 that they can use for network deployment.

For more information on Slipstreaming SP1 in a current Windows XP install share see: Slipstreaming Windows XP Service Pack 1 and Create Bootable CD.

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